Cafés and Sunscreen: An ExperienceWeek Interview with Linda Moir
There’s something sublime in a well-run coffee shop. The agency model is primed for disruption. And wouldn’t it be nice to apply your sun cream in a quick, easy experience? In the run-up to ExperienceWeek, we asked storyteller Linda Moir, who built the massively successful volunteer experience for the 2012 London Olympics, for her experience management insights.
Which company’s experiences would you most like to emulate?
I love the experience at Pret a Manger. The shops are always busy and the team there are selling low-cost high-volume food and drink, but the staff are always friendly and work really hard to keep the lines short. The manager is constantly on the shop floor clearing tables or making coffee and chats to customers in the line. The team seem to be having fun at work and as the customer I always feel included in the joke they are having. I always try to seek out a branch if I am on my travels. The product is great but the experience really makes it for me
What is the next industry that will be made or broken by experiences?
All those which rely on an agency model: employment agencies, travel agencies, real estate agencies, etc. We are already seeing the direct approach in all these sectors being incredibly successful, and cutting out the agent is a trend that is only going to continue as mobile technology gets smarter and smarter. This is where the experience is so vital – for example in real estate, successful agents are broadening their offering from just selling properties to offering financial advice, relocation assistance, and even management of dogs and cats during the move. This won’t appeal to everyone: The benefit of ‘doing it yourself’ for a fraction of the price is very appealing to the mass market. But there is a smaller, profitable market looking for a full service option. The race is on to get there.
What’s the experience that doesn’t exist yet, but that you can’t wait to have?
I asked my daughters to help me with this one. The idea that won was – wait for it – a walk-in sun cream applying machine. We would love a hotel or resort that offered the experience to be sprayed with sun cream on the beach or by the pool so that you were protected all over and didn’t then get sticky. Great for adults and kids. (You heard it here first!)
Over the last 30 years, Linda Moir has worked in high profile businesses that have developed great reputations for outstanding customer service. In 2012 she led the front of house Event Services team at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where 15,000 volunteer Gamesmakers hosted 9 million spectators. Before that, she was Virgin Atlantic’s Director of In Flight Services.